VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Randolph-Macon women's volleyball secured a win over Penn State – Berks 3-0, but lost 3-1 against McMurry on the second day of the Virginia Wesleyan Invitational. The tournament wraps up the opening weekend for the Yellow Jackets (3-1).
McMurry 3, Randolph-Macon 1
In the first set, the teams fought to the 3-3 tie, but following the knot, McMurry turned on the jets and scored seven of the next eight points, pushing out to a 10-4 lead. R-MC fought back with a trio of points, but McMurry went on another run, pushing the score to 16-7. They closed out the set, winning 25-16.
Randolph-Macon battled back in the second frame. After McMurray got the 5-4 lead, R-MC forced an attack error on the War Hawks and sophomore Mackenzie Loewe (Leonardtown, Md. / St. Mary's Ryken) scored a pair of service aces in a row to get R-MC ahead 7-5. The lead remained tight as R-MC began to pull away, getting a pair of kills from senior Emily Fitzwater (Bealeton, Va. / Liberty) and one from fellow senior Mariah Clark (Stuarts Draft, Va. / Riverheads), eventually pushing the lead to 13-8. R-MC kept the distance and rallied for the last four points of the set, getting two kills from junior Miranda Hall (Mechanicsville, Va. / Hanover) and a service ace from Fitzwater.
McMurry jumped out to the early lead in the third, though R-MC kept close. R-MC tied the set at 9-9, thanks to a pair of critical kills from freshman Sydney Koch (Raleigh, N.C. / Sanderson) and junior Bailey Jones (Suffolk, Va. / Norfolk Collegiate). But a 10-10 tie was as close as R-MC would get. The War Hawks scored the six of the next seven points, pushing out to the 16-11 lead. The closed out the set on a 8-3 run to get the 25-15 win.
The tempo stayed in McMurry's favor. The visitors from Texas got the early jump, going up 8-2. R-MC got a good series of points from freshman Danielle Larosa (Charlottesville, Va. / Albemarle), Koch and Clark to close the gap to three at 9-6, but McMurry continued to keep the Yellow Jackets at an arm's length away. The War Hawks went up 16-11 before R-MC strung another set of points together on a McMurry service error and kills by Jones and Koch cutting the lead to 16-14. McMurry scored another four of the next five points before the Yellow Jackets made a last push to get ahead, scoring a kill from junior Alexia Wolfe (Midlothian, Va. / James River), a War Hawk attack error and a service ace from Hall. But McMurry finished on a 5-2 run to win 25-20 and secure the match.
Hall led the Yellow Jackets with nine kills, followed by Jones and Clark with eight each. Koch and Fitzwater each added three blocks. Junior Angela Tender (Manassas, Va. / Stone Bridge) and freshman Macguire Gubba (Grove City, Pa. / Grove City Area School District) led the team with 21 and 14 assists. Loewe led R-MC's defense with 16 digs.
Randolph-Macon 3, Penn State – Berks 0
In the nightcap of the day, Randolph-Macon jumped out to the early lead. In the first set, R-MC took advantage of three errors from PSU-Berks and added a service ace from Tender to jump out to the 4-1 lead. The Yellow Jackets also strung a series of four points together twice to push ahead 16-7. R-MC finished on a 7-3 run to close out the first set.
R-MC allowed just six points in the second set. After allowing the first point, R-MC ripped off eight in a row before allowing another point to the Nittany Lions, all with Tender in service. She tallied an ace in the run as well. R-MC then finished the set on a 12-1 run, with junior Kai Cunningham (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville) in service for nine of the 12 points. That run saw a pair of kills by Larosa and one by Koch and Loewe as well. Loewe finished the last three points in service as LaRosa and Fitzwater each got kills to close out the set.
The third set of the afternoon proved to be the closest of the match yet. The two teams fought to 2-2, 3-3, 5-5, 6-6 and 7-7 ties before R-MC got three points in a row on a kill by Jones, an attack error by PSU-Berks and a kill by Koch. After ceding a single point, R-MC took the next four of five, grabbing three off errors on the Nittany Lions offense.
R-MC soon jumped out to the 21-13 lead after a new run of six in a row. The Yellow Jackets ceded just one point before bringing the set to match point at 24-14. The Nittany Lions had one last rash of points, scoring seven in a row before R-MC got the match point kill from freshman Madison Warlick (Charlottesville, Va. / Albemarle).
Jones led the team in the second match with eight kills, while Warlick got seven and Koch had six. Koch, Jones and Larosa each had two blocks. Tender had most of the assists in the second game – 16 – though sophomore Emma Young (Highland Park, Ill. / Highland Park) tossed in a hefty nine in the later frames and junior Emily Steffan (Salem, Va./Salem) had three as well.. Loewe again led R-MC defensively with eight digs.
Randolph-Macon will face Mary Washington in the Yellow Jackets home opener at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, September 4.